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Problem of evil

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Image pointing toward things that draw us toward evil

The problems of evil fall in to a few sections. Many will ask why there are evil actions within mankind. If God is all knowing why would evil exist and why would he not stop it from happening. All of these are questions that could be heard in any household including most Christian homes. The problem is some believers and nonbelievers can ask the question in a way it could "be recast as an argument for the non-existence of God. Thus if, for simplicity, we focus on a conception of God as all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly good, one very concise way of formulating such an argument" [1].This brings up a whole other group of questioning "Did God create evil? If God created evil, is God still all-good? If God didn’t create evil, then where did it come from? The problem concerning this issue is that if God is absolutely perfect, then He cannot produce anything imperfect” [2]. This will not be the way this study is viewed, but it needed to be brought up as it could play a role in an argument or a conversation.

Questioning the Reason for Evil

Questioning God's abilities and reasons

When looking at the world it can be seen through a different perspective or mindsets. Each person will view the world from a different perspective and none of them are correct or incorrect as we have the free will to see the world the way we choose. This was God's will when he created us, giving each man, woman, and child their own mind to make up. The question, then, becomes why would God let evil be introduced into the world? What role could it play? Is there an unforced reason that will be explained later in our existence? You may even hear things like if God does not exist due to the fact evil exists with points like these "If God exists, then God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil. If God is omniscient, then God knows evil exists. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil. If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn’t have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn’t know when evil exists, or doesn’t have the desire to eliminate all evil. Therefore, God doesn’t exist." [1] This brings up the question what is the purpose of evil? This makes one wonder if there is ever a time that evil can be helpful? It could be said that an all-good God would have reason for everything, but why create suffering? People use suffering to grow, learn, and experience life and "just because we do not see a good purpose for some evil does not mean that it does not exist"[2]. God does have a purpose for everything even if we do not understand it in our current being, we will in our final infinite state. An all-good God is able to bring good from evil further proving everything has a purpose and extending the truth that God is working toward the greater good of man without destroying freewill.

The Belief of Evil

Questioning God's intentions with evil

Those questions all bring up valid points depending on which side of the viewpoint you are on. Evil in our world exists on different levels. There is evil which is man-made such as murder and other things man decided to do with their own free will. There is evil in the world such as a tree falling on an innocent child sleeping killing them while on a family camping trip; which really happened last year, known as natural evil. It appears neither of these lines of arguments are immune from challenge. "As regards the former, one can argue that the examples that are typically advanced of cases where some evil is logically necessary for a greater good that outweighs the evil" [1]. All of these questions offer a chance to see both the positive of free will and the negative with can include evil. An interesting perspective writing in 1925 said "The best way for you to remove what appears to be evil is to fill your consciousness so full of good that there is room for nothing but good. Belief in evil or limitation is automatically displaced by the presence of truth and good" [3] This statement goes to show you can chose what you wish to believe only further proving freewill; which then allows people to then adjust these reasons to be viewed in a fashion which they perceive to be real. Anything can be interpreted in a way the individual chooses too and still be correct in their own mind. This is what gives us free will.

Confirming Evil and God Both Can Exist

Gods support of those who understand evil

There can be many reasons why there is evil, but this wiki will focus on free will. If one believes that evil is because of a lack of a god they would limit their perspective to just one side. In doing so, it would give credit to the fact God did give us a free will there for nullifying their thought. There is no free will and no God. As you see "God's creation of persons with morally significant free will is something of tremendous value. God could not eliminate much of the evil and suffering in this world without thereby eliminating the greater good of having created persons with free will with whom he could have relationships and who are able to love one another and do good deeds" [4]. This theory seems to place the burden of fact on the people who look wish to see the negative existence of God. Leaving it to be self evident that yes there is a God and yes he has given mankind the ability to be negative. The thought that God should have created man to only do good would have been a negative feature in his design leading to the lack of freewill. If one can only do good deeds and or good actions, then they truly do not have free will. From the mind of a theist "God did not create man wholly good because He wanted human actions to be up to them. God wanted a world in which the idea of punishment, reward and accountability made sense. Simply put, a theist could invoke freewill as the cause of moral evil" [5]. Putting aside the thoughts of moral evil and focusing on natural evil, how can that be explained as acceptable. The thought that natural evil can exist can bring up the thoughts of why should it, if God wanted there to be good. One way to think of this is to remember Gods own freewill. Since natural evil cannot be attributed to human free will, perhaps we can legitimately attribute it to God’s free will" [5]. This brings us to the final response to finalize the proof of freewill and God's existence along side evil. There must be evil because without it there would be no way to understand the concept of good without an evil to explain the other side of the coin.

Video

Video showing a Philosophical response to why God allows evil.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tooley, Michael. [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .Web.November 25, 2018 (accessed)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Knowing Jesus. [2] What is the problem of evil? .web. November 25, 2018 (accessed)
  3. DailyWord [3] Dailyword Web.December 1, 2018 (accessed)
  4. Beebe, James [4] Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy .Web.November 25, 2018 (accessed)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Abimola,K [5] Philosophy now .web.December 1, 2018 (accessed)